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What to do with your sadness This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Elesa M., Richmondhill, NY By rustyemotions, Queens, NY

Try writing a list of things that make you happy in an old notebook
Do not stop until you’ve ripped out every page
because you cannot think of anything without the faintest trace of unhappy

Count the fallen hairs on your bed sheet
question whether they belong to you
or the boy who visits you in your nightmares

Sink your teeth into the soft flesh of your forearm
Watch as the broken skin becomes red
If anyone asks,
tell them it was a gift from your lover

Try painting or poetry,
quit midway because you have convinced yourself that you are insufficient
Trace all your broken parts back to their beginnings,
cry because the truth hurts

Take a shower until your skin turns into the color of a bruised tomato
Take a bath afterwards
Drown yourself in jazz and soapy water
Do not come up for air

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